SNOW HILL– A new career ladder is expected to show the county’s water and wastewater workers what they need to advance through the department.
The Worcester County Commissioners last week voted unanimously to approve service records for positions within the water and wastewater division. The records will make employees aware of licensing requirements, education requirements and equipment experience needed to advance to the next level.
“What we’re trying to do in public works is create career ladders for all of our positions,” said Dallas Baker, the county’s director of public works. “That’s what this service record for water/wastewater does.”
Baker asked the commissioners to set up service records for collections plant operator, maintenance worker and equipment operator, wastewater plant operator and water plant operator.
“These service records were created so the employees are aware of what license requirements, education requirements, and equipment operation experience is required to advance to the next level,” Baker wrote in a memo to the commissioners. “We are hopeful that this will encourage employees to receive more training and experience to ensure we have qualified staff to run our operations.”
He told the commissioners last Tuesday the program was modeled after a career ladder already set up for the roads division. He said it would show workers the criteria needed for them to move up the ladder.
“What it does is it puts the development of that employee in their own hands,” he said. “What this helps us do is identify who are the ones that are really willing to work for it and show that they have value.”
He said the request was being made now so he could budget properly for personnel in the next fiscal year. The county will also benefit from more employees who can do more within water and wastewater.
“That provides real value to the county and we’re trying to promote that so we have coverage…,” he said. “In the next five or six years we’re going to see a lot of the great lieutenants in our water/wastewater division retire. We need to have a path forward to see those positions, see them replaced.”
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Baker’s request. Commissioner Eric Fiori praised the concept.
“I appreciate you putting this merit based promotional setup in place…,” he said. “I think it’s great.”
Baker said he would be looking at setting up something similar for the solid waste division next.